It’s been nine months since the assassin class update, and one particular kitty cat assassin has been plaguing our minds ever since—Rengar. Even though the other assassin updates were mostly a success, Rengar’s changes were some of the few that missed their mark.
David Capurro, the Riot designer tasked with handling the kitty’s rework, feels like the ball was really dropped, according to his post on the League of Legends forums.
His rework was met with the most backlash, and it’s not hard to see why. This was Rengar’s third gameplay update since his release, and fans of the mighty hunter wanted this one to really drive him home. The results weren’t great, and fans felt let down when the update made its debut—mostly because he didn’t feel like the Rengar we all knew and loved after his makeover. He felt like a totally different champion. And on that end, Capurro agrees.
“Rengar is far from perfect in his current state,” Capurro said. “I’ll be the first to admit that.” There were a ton of drastic steps taken to accomplish Rengar’s gameplay goals, and a lot of them didn’t exactly pan out. When making that many huge changes, it’s not uncommon for some to fall through. For Rengar’s rework, his passive, Q, W, and R were all changed. The only ability that hasn’t been surrounded in debate since the update is his E, which coincidentally was left mostly untouched.
Rengar’s new R alerts the closest enemy champion that he’s nearby before he has a chance to pounce on them from invisibility. And many argue that it creates so much counterplay that his ult can’t be used as an assassination tool anymore, but rather as a zoning tool. As one of the jungle’s staple assassins, that’s not exactly appealing. His W had a host of issues at the start, including the heal being too powerful and the crowd control cleanse needing to be removed. The worst of all, though, is his Q.
Capurro said that if he could do it all again, he would have left the Q mostly unchanged as it was a staple to Rengar’s assassination and isolation fantasy. “[The new Q] just feels bland, rushed, and uninspired here,” he said. One of the things the team was trying to move away from, however, was the fact that Rengar’s burst damage could all be applied instantly. His old Q was the biggest problem there, so it would’ve been hard to avoid change altogether.
Capurro’s post also unfortunately means that Rengar may be the victim of a fourth major gameplay update. Hopefully the next one will stick, because Rengar’s fans are no doubt getting a little tired of this game of cat and mouse between Riot and his design issues.